Category Archives: Fun

I started writing about clickbait. What happens next will astound you…

Once the only annoyance on the internet was a Nigerian Prince with a big heart, an even bigger wallet and a suspicious lack of family and friends to help him out of his bind.



(art by @seemikedraw)

But then along came “Clickbaiting”.

As an executive who makes his living almost exclusively in the e-world, I am conflicted about my feelings on the topic of clickbaits.

I am acutely aware of the immense e-commerce driver relating to “click” volumes. In fact it is the life blood of my industry.

However there is good clickbait. And then there are the soul sucking dementors of the clickbait world – clickbait headlines.

But what is clickbait?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines clickbait thusly:

“(On the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page”

I don’t know why they had to preface the definition with “on the internet”. It’s not like you can clickbait in the “real world” – although this pub comes pretty close.



Now in my industry, clickbaiting is a good thing. A necessary thing. And those who excel in this art form are highly sought after and compensated accordingly. On the internet, traffic is key.

Clickbaiting, from an e-commerce sense, can be a way of attracting customers of a target demographic to your online presence, with the hope that once suitably lured, they will do business with you.

What I object to, is clickbaiting purely for the sake of jacking up site visits, essentially in order to provide compelling data to attract advertisers to buy space on your site.

And as usual, the satirical people at “the Onion” news source tell it best.

“All you are to us, and all you will ever be to us, are eyeballs.”

You will often see clickbaiting on high volume platforms, such as Facebook. What I’m referring to here is those teaser headlines that purposely withhold information from readers, such as “Insurance companies HATE this new trick”, “She dropped some change in a homeless man’s cup. What happened next will make you cry” and pretty much anything linking to “Upworthy”…

(indeed this Upworthy generator is pretty much on the money –

It’s no surprise you see this kind of thing all over your Facebook feeds. Facebook loves a good clickbait, as much as a Black Widow Spider enjoys a nice post-coital snack.


Is it any coincidence that Buzzfeed and Facebook could spoonerise their names and become the alliterative “BuzzBook” or “FaceFeed”?

Look, to their credit, as a result of overwhelming feedback, Facebook have more recently introduced initiatives to reduce the amount of clickbaiting showing up in newsfeeds.

The irony of the Sydney Morning Herald reporting on this story is not lost…

But look, the thing with clickbaits, is they’re easy to spot, as they are particularly formulaic.


x happened to y, you:

  1. will be amazed at,
  2. won’t believe, or
  3. will be stunned by, etc

what happened next.


Watch this:

  1. to learn,
  2. to find out,
  3. to discover,
  4. to see, etc
  5. what happened next,
  6. an amazing fact about,

iii. how you can be better at,

  1. what went horribly wrong with, etc.

this particular topic

I miss the days when real newspapers contained the essence of the article to follow, nestled succinctly within the confines of the headline. It was an art form in itself. For example “Russia Says It Pulled Troops, but NATO Sees No Sign.” As opposed to “Russia Says It Pulled Troops. What NATO saw next will blow your mind!”

People don’t need to be lured if a story is truly interesting. That’s the problem with clickbaiting. Even at their best, these types of clickbait headlines are shameless hype. At their worst, they’re downright deceptive. Very occasionally, clicking turns out to be worth it and you’re glad you bothered. More often than not it’s a total fraud and you’ve clicked for nothing. It’s known as the “curiosity gap”.

I think Shakespeare summed it up perfectly:

“O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?!”

Yes Romeo, I will, you balcony shouting, sexed-charged pre-pubescent. Keep it in your pants.

But let me just wrap up by saying that researching clickbaiting resulted in me having to click on a lot of bait. I now feel dirty, hollow and empty. A small part of me wanted to throw it all in and go Amish, but I just know I’m not good enough at working with my hands to make a good fist of it. (see what I did there?)

Instead I have reached a point, where I now refuse to click on anything resembling clickbait. I urge you to do the same. Any time you see the words “what happens next will…” I want you to raise your middle finger at the screen, and keep on scrolling past. You can also shout “fuck you, you fucking fucks!”, but experience tells me that will put you at risk of being politely escorted out of the First Class lounge.

But there is a shining light, in the intense blackness that is clickbait headlining.

And it’s this guy:



He clicks on bait, reads the article, and provides a quick Twitter synopsis, so you don’t have to.   I love this guy.

My faith in this planet is now restored. The reason why will astonish…


^^^ Sorry, not sorry


The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us!

Is it any coincidence that an anagram of “The Zombie Apocalypse” is “Zesty Ebola Hippo Came”?


Think about it…

But here are the cold facts. The World Health Organisation currently predicts that within a mere two months, there will be up to 10,000 new Ebola cases PER WEEK in West Africa.

If this assessment wasn’t grim enough, they are also predicting that the death rate will be around 70% – which is fearfully high for any disease.

“So Professor Gaz, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it’s time for our viewers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?”

“Yes I would, Kent”.

For those of us fortunate enough to live in the first world, we are relatively safe. For now.

The good news? Ebola is not highly contagious.

Wait, what?! But Prof Gaz, just above you say it is spreading like wildfire?!

I did. But calm the fuck down.

Ebola is not easily transferred – unlike influenza or other airborne diseases that can be transmitted through sneezing, for example.

Ebola may only be acquired upon contact with blood (or other bodily fluids… yurghh) of an infected human or animal. The virus can enter the body via infected droplets (blood, vomit, faeces, semen… I repeat, yurghh) through broken skin or mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose or mouth.

Since it is not airborne like flu, very close direct contact with an infected person is required for the virus to be passed on. Infection may also occur through direct contact with contaminated bedding, clothing and surfaces, or contaminated medical equipment such as needles, syringes or surgical tools, but again it requires close, direct contact.

Once Ebola is inside you though, it rapidly multiplies in the blood, taking over and attacking cells, and replicating itself.



Ebola, I don’t want you inside me.

However, since close, direct contact is the only way it is transferred, Ebola “in theory” should be simple to control and contain. But then again “in theory”, Communism works.

So why is Ebola escalating? Why can’t we control it? Why can’t we contain it?

There are a multitude of reasons, but these are the key ones.

The Lack of a Cure, Fear, Money, Education, Stigmatism, and Bats. Fucking bats. Let’s run through them.

Lack of a Cure

Since Ebola was first identified in 1976, every outbreak has been contained with strict hygiene – isolation of patients and suspected patients, ensuring staff wore suitable protective clothing, and properly carried out cleaning and disposal of clinical waste.

There have as yet been no drugs to do the job because developing them is extremely expensive, and, until now, the major pharmaceutical companies have not seen enough of a market to justify the effort. That’s changing, fortunately, but we’re not there yet. Scientists are logically focusing their efforts on two approaches:

  • treatments to help people already infected with the virus
  • vaccines to protect people from catching it in the first place

Both are in clinical trials, but the forerunning treatment has been fast-tracked into production, and with some success.

“Fuck the clinical trials”, say those who are infected. “Test on me. What’s the worst that can happen?”

The Zombie Apocalypse. That’s the worst that can happen. But with the recent proliferation of zombie films flooding the market, no-one can say they’re not at least partially prepared…

*Gaz taps his ol’ faithful baseball bat*


The greatest fear, is fear itself.

Bullshit. The greatest fear is fucking zombies. Then clowns. And then maybe fear. But zombies are definitely first. And don’t get me started on zombie clowns.

Fear should be the reason why we ARE striving to contain Ebola. Fear is a justifiable feeling, given the circumstances. Ebola is fucking terrifying.

But fear can also hamper the process. The problem is that many individuals fear that they will be isolated if they so much as sneeze. So they hide away until the symptoms become too severe. By then, there is an increased chance of transmission to others, and a higher chance of mortality.



The Australian Government has committed around $18m in financial assistance towards fighting the disease. Sounds nice, but Mark Zuckerberg and his missus have just committed $25m, and Bill and Melinda Gates last month donated $50m. Which kind of puts things in perspective.

*Australia has also drawn the line at sending health care workers to assist on the ground. That message alone feeds the fear notion. “If trained professionals won’t help us, what can we do?!” And they’re right.

The problem? Developing a cure is downright expensive. And the large pharmaceutical companies have not yet deemed that the cost justifies the focus of effort, for the relatively small volume of product that would have needed to be dispensed for previous, smaller outbreaks. But with the current outbreak being the largest ever, they must be getting close to a tipping point.

However the potential for a preventative vaccine should have the pharmaceutical boffins rubbing their hands in greed. What’s the population of Africa again? Did someone say “Cha Ching”?



All in all, the World Health Organisation and the UN estimate that they would need roughly $1bn just to tackle the outbreak. So far $507m of that has been pledged by government bodies, private businesses and individuals. So we’re halfway there, which is encouraging. But we’re still only halfway towards what is a massive, massive number.



Probably the two key battles here are embedded cultural customs and the lack of literacy.

In terms of culture, there are a swag of customs and habits that contribute to the spread of Ebola. The proliferation of “bush meat” in the diet, burial ceremonies where families are intent on hugging the deceased, and a general lack of hygiene – seriously, so few carry hand sanitiser in their purses…

There is also a problem when the target community has a poor ability to read. If you can’t read, this sign seems to tell you that hugs, pouring your pumpkin spice latte over your hands, thumb wrestling, keeping exotic pets and Nanna’s secret recipe, fruit bat stew will all help to keep Ebola at bay.

That sign really needs those red strikeout lines through the circles, Ghostbusters style. Think marketing people, think! It’s not rocket surgery.



Hands up those that now have the Ghostbuster theme stuck in their head. Sometimes I wish Ray Parker Snr had just opted for the blowjob…



Aside from the stigma faced by Ebola survivors, or families of those who died – which is terrible in itself – it is the stigma relating to the perceived risk of allowing care workers into villages for fear of them bringing contamination with them that is the major fly in the ointment.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s natural, human nature. But it is hamstringing the ability to control the disease.

Many Ebola patients who are treated in hospital EARLY will survive and recover. The earlier the treatment, the greater the odds of recovery. If health professionals are blocked from reaching infected communities due to the stigma of the perceived risk of these health professionals *bringing* the virus with them, then the potential for early treatment is eliminated. Furthermore, it impinges on the ability for sanitising and disinfecting affected communities and controlling the spread.

Again, this harks back to education. And in the third world, it is much more difficult to spread the true message.


Bats, Fucking Bats

Namely fruit bats. These fuckers can be Ebola carriers. “That’s great, I fucking hate bats”, you say. “I hope they all die of Ebola”.

The problem is, bats are immune to the virus. As if there was another reason to fucking hate bats.

Side Note: Talking about hatred of bats reminded me of a funny bit by Chris O’Dowd on the Graham Norton Show. He is a funny bugger:

The fact that bats are immune is one of the key reasons why Ebola is difficult to contain. Bats continue to spread the virus, even if the human spread is controlled. This is why there have been repeated, but well spaced-out breakouts in Western and Central Africa since the first Ebola outbreak in 1976. Again, the bats either can’t read, or worse – totally ignore, all of the Ebola advice signage. Fucking bats.

And to all of my Australian friends. Please note the regions marked with dotted lines, in which these fruit bat carriers currently proliferate:


Fuck you New Zealand!

So what now, good reader?

Reach into your pockets, friends and donate some of your hard-earned.

The “Centre for Disease Control” and “Doctors Without Borders” are currently channelling their efforts towards the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

You could do a lot worse than to send a few pennies their way.

Failing that, start working on your double-tap.

Something’s Missing, In My Life…

Maybe it’s you?

Nah, you’re still here, so it can’t be that.

I was hit by a pang of nostalgia this week. And it started with Perkins Paste.

Perkins Paste was a product I used during my childhood. I don’t know why it popped into my head, but I started wondering why I hadn’t seen it around lately.

Looking into it got me thinking about other things that had been prevalent in my youth, but had disappeared from popular use in ensuing years (ok, ok, decades) for a plethora of reasons – many of which are self-evident.

Let’s start with the catalyst for this nostalgia:


Perkins Paste

The spreadable, edible, craft glue. How I miss you.



The “original” cut-and-paste function, “Perkins Paste” was the classier (and more palatable) alternative to the watery “Clag Glue” used in paper craft during my early school years.

Perkins Paste was far superior to Clag, both in taste, texture, and adhesive abilities. Perkins Paste was made from boiled potato dextrin, was fast drying and had a plastic spatula built into the lid for ease of application (and consumption).

Clag was made from wheat starch dissolved in water – and it retained that wateriness. It warped the paper and it smudged the ink. Perkins did neither of those things.

Yet despite its iconic status, Perkins Paste was sadly ousted from the market with the advent of glue sticks. Somehow, Clag survived, to the detriment of today’s children’s palates and craftwork.


Overhead Projectors

Forget Powerpoint presentations. Forget slideshows. Forget interactive whiteboards.

For most of my early schooling teachers used overhead projectors. Ol’ Teach used to handwrite the class notes on a series of clear, overhead transparency sheets, continuously replacing each sheet on the projector as the lesson went on (in lieu of today’s simple click of a laser pointer). It was always a challenge for the teacher to keep the stack in order.

It would also be a challenge for the teacher to prevent us from sneaking in a strategic “dick-’n-balls” halfway through his lesson stack. It’s much more difficult to infiltrate a PowerPoint presentation.



But oh how we’d laugh.

And oh how we’d get caned…

But it was totally worth it. “Where’s Willy” was the highlight of our week.


Spokey Dokeys

Spokey Dokeys were little multi-coloured plastic beads that clipped onto your bicycle wheel spokes. They didn’t really do much at high speed except provide a blur of colour, but at lower speeds they used to slide up and down the shaft (that’s what she said) and make a clacking noise.



The glow-in-the-dark ones used to make my 12-speed arc up like I was in Tron…



I think you can still get them, but sadly you don’t see them around much anymore.


Tab Cola and Mello Yellow

When Diet Coke hit Australian shores in the early 80’s, it pretty much smashed Tab out of the market.  And Mello Yellow lost its battle with the creatively upcycled horse urine that is Mountain Dew, and was reinvented as the uninspiring, and uni-citrus “Lift Lemon”.

Tab not only launched the career of a young Elle Macpherson, but also launched the ice bucket challenge, if this 1982 commercial is anything to go by:


And Alex Wileman, the bouffant, blonde beauty in this early 80’s Australian Mello Yellow commercial is now spruiking incontinence pads:



I think the key learning here is that too much Mello Yellow leads to urinary leakage.

“Look out mouth, watch out thirst. This second Mello Yellow will cause my bladder to burst”.

You really should have stopped after the first, Alex.

But despite all that, it would appear that both products are good for your physique. They’re both in their 50’s, but Elle and Alex still have it.



Sadly however, aside from a few short, sentimental re-runs, neither Tab nor Mello Yellow have been readily available in Australia since the 80’s and 90’s. *wistful sigh*


Troll dolls

Those little naked, fluorescent-haired, demon-eyed bastards. They were everywhere when I was a kid. The only trolls I encounter now, are the ones flaming on online forums.



I miss the former ones. They remind me of the Olsen twins, when they were toddlers on Full House. Man they were creepy lookin’ kids.



I don’t rightly recall what the point of Trolls Dolls was – they never had any particular storyline attached to them – unlike my mighty Smurfs.  But for a time, I could always recall seeing them on bookshelves, or on people’s dashboards, or keyrings.  And a part of me misses them.


Hypercolor T-Shirts

Now that was a passing fad.  The amazing material that changed colour with heat.

Remember its sexual assault inducing catchphrase?





It was pretty cool at the time, but I do remember it disconcertingly highlighted to the casual observer, just how much my armpit temperature differed from that of my chest.

It was a fleeting phenomenon though. Amazingly, they sold over $50M in product in the first 3 months.

Sadly though, after just a handful of washes, the magic powers faded and the shirt froze permanently into a mushy purply-brown.

And that, as they say, was that.


Music Cassette Tapes

Well, I don’t really miss them in the literal sense, but I do feel nostalgic about them. The first cassette tape I can recall purchasing was Savage Garden. Man, I so used to rock.



While the logistics of finding a song on a cassette tape was based upon precision guesswork, it was the technology of the time – and you made do with what you had.

But the thing I miss most about cassettes, is making Mixed Tapes. Sure, you can make a playlist. But you can’t gift a playlist to the potential love of your life, entitled “Roadtrip to my Heart” on your iPhone.

What if you never got it back? *shudders*



The Calculator Watch

While my fat fingers would struggle nowadays, I used to be the coolest nerd on the block, rocking my sweet Casio Databank Calculator Watch – the one with the pushbutton “Illuminator” function.



Go on, laugh you ignoramuses. Would you laugh at Walter White?!



Or Marty McFly?!



I rest my case.

Truthfully, back when I was at school it was the Rolls Royce of watches, and a high status symbol.  At least for a year or so.  Fads were fleeting in the 80’s.  “Bros”, “Tiffany” and “Milli Vanilli” will vouch for that.

Having a calculator watch really was akin to having the first-release iPhone.  Admittedly, I used it for little more than telling the time, and typing “5318008” for shits and giggles – but I was revered as a god by my Grade 4 peers. Not “The” God, but I was up there.


Speak and Spell

The original Speak and Spell was ostensibly a hand-held learning tool.  Effectively it was the first handheld computer.  Games inserted via cartridges provided different learning activities.



I must say I’m impressed with Nerd #3’s ability to sustain a mid-abdomen Harry Highpants without a belt. That’s a nerd god right there. It would also appear that James Franco has access to a time machine…

The Speak and Spell pretty much fizzled out by the 90’s, but I am however buoyed to report, that a Speak and Spell App exists, so its legacy lives on.



The Aussie Girl Group “Girlfriend” was the first ever concert I attended. It was 1993, and Gaz was a pimply, testosterone-fuelled, twelve-year-old.

I don’t think it had much to do with the music. It was pretty awful. But I had a massive crush on Melanie Alexander.



Incidentally, she still rocks it.  Pimply Gaz had mad foresight…




“Alex Kidd”

Aaah, Alex Kidd. My first foray into video games. I had the classic Sega Master System II with the game in-built.



Alex Kidd was a platform-based game, where you collect magical artifacts, medallions and “Baums” (Miracle Word’s equivalent to Bitcoins) while trying to locate and trounce the usurper, Janken the Great and his minions.

Alex was “Shellcore” trained, a technique which allowed him to alter the size and toughness of his hands – which explains his hamfistedness. It was pretty much the precursor to future platform games, and as a kid, it was pretty addictive.

By 1990 though, Sonic the Hedgehog took over Sega’s mantle, and Alex Kidd pretty much faded away into oblivion.

So anyway, that’s a snapshot of some of the things I miss from a child who spent his formative years growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed some obvious ones, so if you think of any more, hit me up.

And before you start, no, I don’t miss fucking Pogs! I’m not some kind of Millhouse nerdlinger…


10 Reasons This Planet is Fucking Awesome!

Look, I ripped into you a little bit in my previous post, Earth. Sorry buddy. You’ve actually been pretty good to me, on the whole.

So to be fair, and impartial, I think it is best to present the counter argument. Earth is a pretty fucking cool place.

Here are a few reasons this planet is fucking awesome.



Technology makes my life complete.

It is my work. It is my play. It is my night. It is my day. Look, it even inspires me to be a shitty poet.

With the internet and smartphones, we now have the world at our fingertips. Time spent seated on the porcelain throne has never been more productive.

I am however, sad to report that the Time Machine will never be invented. Someone would have come back to let me know by now, surely.

That being said, we’ve come a long way, and rapidly. Every year, things get faster, have greater capacity and are more efficient – while also getting smaller.



Here’s a fun fluff piece about how today’s smartphone packs in all the technology (and more) offered in a full-page Radio Shack ad from the early 90’s.

These technology advancements in the last 40 years or so, have rapidly increased globalisation. It has changed the way the world operates, which for my industry – gaming – has revolutionised the way we interact. You can sit at the virtual felt across from a laggy Scandy, a mad Russian (most likely several, mad Russians), a handful of crazy Asians and a rock from Gibraltar.

With respect to globalisation, how long until we have a global currency? 50 years? 100 years? Or do we already have it in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin?

And how long until we have a global language? It is likely to be English. But how soon until it happens? Could it be Esperanto? It’s now the 64th language feature in Google Translate… and it could solve the whole O-U-G-H (through, tough, bough, cough, dough, thorough, ought) torment we inflict on all ESL’s. Actually, the truth is that we can pronounce the combination “ough” in at least eight different ways. “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.” No wonder everyone hates the English.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah. Technology. Get on it.



Seriously, Legolas?  For an elf with such perfect vision, how could you possibly let go of such a perfect vision?!

Such a shame too, I always thought they had the perfect hyphenated surname.  Kerr-Bloom!

But kudos to Orlando for recently taking a swing at Bieber as a result of innuendo over the lovely Ms Kerr.  Damn I hate that kid.






Scott Neeson.

The former Hollywood Executive’s eyes were opened to the abject poverty and helplessness of post-war Cambodia during a trip to visit Angkor Wat in 2003. He was on a mini-sabbatical between leaving his post as president of 20th Century Fox International and starting at Sony Pictures when he visited the sprawling landfill of Steung Meanchey, a poor shantytown in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

Neeson saw a girl, dressed in rags, picking through syringes and broken glass. Her name, he learned through an interpreter, was Srey Nich. She was 9 and lived in the dump with her mother and younger sister. There they collected scrap that could be recycled, and they sold it to buy food. “How could anyone survive here?” Neeson recalls thinking. “I couldn’t look away.” He was shocked by what he saw, and pledged to return.


His epiphany came in June 2004. He had returned to the dump, true to his word, when he got a call on his mobile phone. It was an agent whose movie star client was having a meltdown before boarding his private jet because it apparently wasn’t properly stocked with his favourite amenities. According to Neeson, he overhead the actor in the background ranting, “My life wasn’t meant to be this difficult!”

Neeson was standing ankle-deep in trash, trying to help children sick with typhoid at the time. “The child I was holding was extremely sick, and here’s this movie star yelling about how difficult life was,” says Neeson. “If I needed a sign, that was it.”

So the Hollywood executive, who oversaw films such as Titanic and Braveheart, gave up his million dollar salary, sold his house, his possessions, his Porsche and his yacht and moved to Cambodia to start a children’s charity, the Cambodian Children’s Fund.

Cambodian Children’s Fund provides life-changing education, nourishment and healing to vulnerable children from some of Cambodia’s most destitute communities. Today they care for more than 2,000 students and 10,000 people annually after extending their services to provide to entire families and communities in crisis.

Check it out – brilliant stuff. Maybe throw them a donation. Or two.





Oh how I love thee.


No, not you, Merlot, sit the fuck down.

My thanks to the ancients, for stumbling upon the virtues of fermented grapes – reputedly as early as 6,000 BC. Apparently they observed birds getting giddy on the fermenting fruit, and tried it for a lark (pardon the pun). Well met, my tipsy Stone Age friends.

And even more thanks go out to the Romans for refining the craft. Renowned Roman reporter of the time, Gaius Plinius Secundus – better known as Pliny the Elder – wrote in 70BC “In Vino Veritas”. “In wine, there is truth”.   I have to agree with ol’ Pliny. Although it can be a bit too truthful at times, as I have discovered the following day after a few too many glasses of truth serum the night before.

But even that Jesus fellow reportedly turned water into wine. What really bugs me is not that his secret died with him, but that when he was resurrected, no one thought to ask him how he did it. You had forty days, you nincompoops! He broke bread with you. He took a walk in the countryside with you. Heck, he even went fishing with you. And yet no one thought to ask?! Sigh. I blame you, Doubting Thomas. Then again, Jesus may just have been a bit closed-shop. You don’t become the world’s most famous magician of all time, if you give away the secrets to all of your tricks…

What is truly wonderful about wine, is that it gets better with age, as does its value. The same cannot be said about the items slowly congealing in my vegetable crisper.

In fact in 2010, divers exploring the wreck of a schooner sunk in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden discovered a total of 162 bottles of champagne, mostly intact. The bottles were dated from between 1825 and 1830. Of these 162 bottles, 79 were still drinkable, preserved as a result of the horizontal way they landed, and the cold Baltic waters.

In 2011, one of the shipwreck bottles, a rare Veuve Clicquot Champagne was auctioned for €30,000. What is remarkable about these bottles, is that they were actually produced under the watchful tutelage of the famous widow, Madame Clicquot herself (veuve meaning widow in French, and from whence the name change originated. It was simply Clicquot Champagne before that).

Madame Clicquot. What a handsome, handsome woman…


Did you also know it was safer to drink wine during the Black Plague than water? Me neither, but I’ll drink to that *clink*. Here’s to avoiding the plague.

And next year marks 50 years since South Australia invented boxed wine.   Maybe that’s not so much of a brag, but it is an interesting fact. No you’re right. It’s neither.

Where was I? Oh yeah, stay outta my booze!




I fucking love Science! Seriously, you should “Like” that page on Facebook. It’s hilarious. And you learn stuff.

Man has always had a thirst for knowledge. From Galileo the astronomer and physicist who inspired Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, to Brian May the guitarist for Queen who is also an astrophysicist.

Hats off to all the daddies. From Hipprocrates, Father of Medicine; to Aristotle, Father of Biology; to John Kerr, Father of Miranda.

I can’t forget the mums either, from Marie Curie, Mother of Nuclear Science; to Florence Nightingale, Mother of Nursing; to Therese Kerr, for previously mentioned reasons.

Big shout out also to Charles Babbage, Father of the Computer. Babbage was the inventor of an early computer known as the “Difference Engine”, which was never fully constructed in his lifetime. Amazingly in 1991, a perfectly functioning Difference Engine was constructed from Babbage’s original plans. The success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage’s machine would have worked. Just think, if only people had backed Babbage on Kickstarter, Gavrilo Princip might have been so stuck on Level 147 of Candy Crush that he wouldn’t have looked up when Franz Ferdinand took that wrong turn, sparing us that whole, nasty First World War. Indeed Ferdinand’s driver probably wouldn’t have gotten lost in the first place if he’d had access to a reliable NavMan…

Kudos too to Pythagoras for introducing us to the wonder of triangles, to Archimedes for his revolutionary bath work, and to Pavlov, Schrodinger and Isaac Newton for their excellent work with household pets. What?!

“Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!”

“The what?” said Richard.

“The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a …”

“Yes,” said Richard, “there was also the small matter of gravity.”

“Gravity,” said Dirk with a slightly dismissed shrug, “yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered… You see?” he said dropping his cigarette butt, “They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap … ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see.”

― Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

To the Renaissance men, from Copernicus who showed us we weren’t the centre of the universe (are you listening Biebs?), to Da Vinci’s helicopter (and he painted a bit too, I hear?), to Paracelsus, who is remembered for his advancements to medicine – but who should really be best known for introducing the word “bombastic” to the vernacular. Shaggy, I think you owe Paracelsus some royalties…

 To the early 20th Century geniuses, from the glowing Marie Curie, to Einstein – the unwittingly, indirect destroyer of Hiroshima, to the brilliant and oft under-recognised Nikola Tesla who ultimately brought us WiFi and electricity. Bless you Mr Tesla – *sniff* – bless you.

Incidentally, I love this photo below, taken at the Solvay Conference in 1927. It is basically a compilation of the “rockstar” minds of the time. I’d like to think Schrodinger was gazing distractedly off to the side because he thought he glimpsed his cat. I’d also like to think that Planck and Lorentz had a full head of hair before sitting next to Marie Curie. Should have worn your lead hats, fellas…


What is also wonderful about science, is that it explains *factually* how we got here.  Thank you to Mr Darwin for introducing us to evolution (although technically thanks should go to Alfred Wallace for first conceptualising it).

“The bombshell comes in 1859 when Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it’s yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we’re not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn’t read well.”  Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt


But I think the Hickey brothers from “My name is Earl” put it best:

Randy Hickey:                      Did you know that before we were humans we were monkeys?

Earl Hickey:                            Really? What were we before monkeys?

Randy Hickey:                      I don’t know. I can’t even remember being a monkey.

 Thanks finally to the modern day scientists who keep science in popular culture, from frequent Guest Star of the Simpsons – Stephen Hawking, to “We got a Badass” Neil deGrasse Tyson, to those well-paid, but loveable scienticians in that documentary series, The Big Bang Theory.


“If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.” ― Penn Jillette, God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

“The good thing about science, is it’s true whether or not you believe in it” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Thanks Neil. You truly are a badass.



I haven’t read the books, so I can only speak for the show, but for a TV program to have the following interchange, proves to me that this planet is alllll-right.

The Hound:                            Of course you named your sword.

Arya:                                          Lots of people name their swords.

The Hound:                            Lots of cunts.

Doesn’t that just warm the cockles of your heart? Even the subcockles?

A slew of complex characters. Witty scriptwriting. Numerous interwoven subplots. Subterfuge and deception. Surprises aplenty. I simply can’t get enough of it.





I love irony.  Particularly of the paradoxical, incongruous kind.  For example:


But again, I shall defer to those who can articulate better than I can. Watch as Irish comedian Ed Byrne goes to town on Alanis Morissette’s ironically named ditty, “Ironic”. In fact, a more ironic song, in light of recent nuptials, would be Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”…

To quote Ed Byrne, “That’s not ironic. That’s *unfortunate*”.

Ironically, at the risk of contradicting my previous post, where “People” were one of the reasons I don’t want to live on this fucking planet anymore, I must attach a codicil. I admit to loving gullible people, as they are much more fun to flame, troll, and generally mess with. There are fewer things more enjoyable in life, than poking a bigot with a metaphorical stick.




  • Private “suite” – no armrest wars and wider, more comfortable seats with unlimited legroom, and a dinner table -incase- want to invite guests up from Business Class or Coach!
  • Quality materials and impeccable finishes, larger windows with electronic blinds and a closet for storage
  • Turndown service – seat reclines into a 2 m long fully, flat bed with quilted mattress, crisp white cotton duvet and pillow with complimentary cotton pyjamas – a cosy Gaz, is a happy Gaz
  • Complimentary toiletries – a moisturised Gaz, is a supple Gaz
  • Large screen multi-media entertainment system – an entertained Gaz, is a distracted Gaz
  • Room for laptops and other devices, as well as in-seat power supply for charging said devices – a fully charged Gaz, is an un-tilted Gaz
  • Chef prepared dining – when and how it suits you – a full Gaz, is a contented Gaz
  • Wide selection of quality wine and beverage options – a drunk Gaz, is… well… drunk. But a mighty tipper!
  • Access to the First Class Lounge at either end of your journey with discreet booths, full waiter service, private cabanas and a state-of-the-art business suite

Well there’s not much more I can say. But this picture says it all. Needless to say I never fly Coach.





In 1900, the Michelin Brothers released an automobile touring guide for France, despite there only being 3,000 registered motor vehicles, and the roads that existed being primitive at best.



The Michelin Man. Creeping out small children since 1898. Nice to see Harvey Keitel hasn’t aged a day, however.

The Michelin Star system wasn’t born until 1926, with the creation initially of a single dining star. In 1931 the system was expanded to include the second and third stars.

By 1936, the definition of the stars was established…

One Star:               A very good restaurant in its own category

Two Stars:            Excellent cooking, worth a detour

Three Stars:        Exceptional cuisine, worth a special trip

… and the system hasn’t changed since.

The guide has become so revered that it has the power to make or break a restaurant, and shatter the souls of elite chefs. In fact, Chef Bernard Loiseau shot himself in the head with a hunting rifle after rumours that his restaurant was to be demoted from three-stars to two in 2003. It wasn’t.

Currently, there are 117 – 3 Star Michelin Restaurants in the world. Indeed, you may be surprised to learn that the country with the most 3 Star restaurants is actually Japan, not France.

I’ve had the pleasure of dining at quite a few (actually over half of them including 19 of the top 20), and they are on the whole, quite simply, brilliant.

They range from the small (and frankly bizarre) Sushi Saito, which was housed in a multi-story car park opposite the US Embassy in Tokyo, and seats just 7, to the exceptional, ‘molecular gastronomic’ experience that is Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck. I particularly enjoyed the Mock Turtle Soup.


I had the fortune to meet Heston at a celebrity media event, and have had the pleasure of being his guest at The Fat Duck on several occasions since.


What did you say? Pretentious? Moi?!

Snobbiness aside, you should attempt to visit at least one 3 Michelin Star restaurant in your lifetime. You won’t regret it, and it’s a nice one to tick off your bucket list.



Or as they should be known, Les Schtroumpfs.

Whatever you call them, I love those little Commie bastards!


10 Reasons Why I Don’t Want to Live on this Planet Anymore


*shakes head*

Look at what you’ve become.

Darwin, don’t you look so smug, you have a lot to answer for. If only you hadn’t invented evolution, we’d still be cosily swimming around in a warm, primordial soup. Sure, there’d be no Game of Thrones, but life would be simpler.

Seriously, this planet is messed up in so many ways, no wonder the aliens deliberately fly straight past us.

Here are 10 reasons why I don’t want to live on this planet anymore:



And the overtly religious. I will intersperse my thoughts on the matter, with some topical quotes from those who can say it better than me.

I am a staunch atheist. I’m not agnostic. I don’t question whether god exists. I am adamant he/she/it does not. The only deity I subscribe to, is on Twitter @TheTweetOfGod. I would go so far as to say I worship him.

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Surely everyone knows deep down in their heart of hearts that there is no god. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an attractive proposition. Believe in “Me” and live forever. I get it. I concede that many “religious” folk are only believers because they wish to hedge their bets for an afterlife. It’s like betting your life savings on Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards to win a Winter Olympic Gold Medal in the Ski Jumping. You know it won’t happen, but if it did, the payoff would be frickin’ sweet.

“It’s a strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It’s the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for.” ― Ricky Gervais

God is a man manifested tool to gain control through fear. Religion it’s mans enforcer.” – Jodi Wieland

But the fallacy that this world was designed with us at its core is human egocentrism at its absolute worst.

“This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.” ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

All religion is a work of fiction. It was written by humans, for humans. More specifically, it was mostly written by men, for men. Women should shun religion – it does not treat them well – and any man with an ounce of compassion and empathy should shun it too. It is antiquated. It is self-serving. It is bigoted. It is ignorant. It is misogynistic. It is homophobic. It is racist. It is infanticidal. It is genocidal. It is dangerous. Well, that’s if you take it too seriously. And sadly, too many do.

“One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge, as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs. Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.” ― Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (*snipped for brevity)

I predict religion will be all but gone in a few centuries, although I wish it were sooner.   When I awake from my cryogenic chamber in around the year 2300, I will celebrate religion’s demise with a strategically cellared glass of Sine Qua Non – Queen of Spades, or some 1990 Penfolds Grange.

 Anyway, I could belt on about my hatred of religion all day, so I’ll sum up my thoughts with one last Ricky Gervais quote.

“Suggesting I hate people with religion, because I hate religion, is like saying I hate people with cancer, because I hate cancer” – Ricky Gervais.

No, I hate people for other reasons. <see below>



And that someone like Ke$ha can become a “star”. That someone can use a dollar sign (although I hear she’s recently dropped the $ while in rehab) in their name and get away with it, is one thing. But for this talentless hack to be successful is another. I’d rather listen to Stephen Hawking sing, than listen to her over-autotuned vocal diarrhoea. Listening to her makes me want to kick kittens. And I quite like kittens.

I remember Dave Grohl’s 2012 Grammy Speech, and nodding in agreement:

“To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what’s important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do… It’s not about being perfect, it’s not about sounding absolutely correct, it’s not about what goes on in a computer. It’s about what goes on in here [your heart] and what goes on in here [your head].” – Dave Grohl Acceptance Speech – Grammy for Best Rock Performance

At the risk of contradicting the above, Dave Grohl is a god.



a)     That they are considered food, and

b)     That they are sold in such vast quantities.

Supply and demand. That is the saddest part of this observation. Seriously people, you really should choose not to eat these over-processed, tenuously-named, deep-fried globs of animal by-products and mystery fillers.

Surely the name “nugget” gives it away? Let’s apply the test of reasonableness here.

Chicken wings? Chickens have wings – therefore that is an acceptable product.

Chicken breast fillet? Chickens have breasts – again, acceptable.

Chicken nuggets? Well, arguably it’s the roosters that have the nuggets (nudge, nudge, if you know what I mean)? So which part of the chicken do they come from? #bestnottoask

Disturbingly, watch this video of UK Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver, and how he fails to shock kids in the US in relation to processed foods like nuggets:



Yes, that means you! No, not you, loyal reader, the person behind you. But yeah, sometimes you.

Now I must preface this point. I quite like a vast number of individuals. It is people I despise.

On the whole, people are the worst. Seriously, the worst. You’ve met them, so you know what I mean.

People are everywhere too. At coffee shops. At airports. Heck, they’re walking on the pavement beside a street near you!

This is generally how I feel when dealing with “people”.


Slow walking, loud phone talking, personal space invading, uncovered sneezing, slow-driving, telemarketing, double-dipping motherfuckers.

I usually hide behind sarcasm because telling people to fuck off is considered rude according to most social conventions. Although I do think it, really, really hard.

Seriously, I think I’ll enjoy the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. I think a healthy cull is in order, just to sort the wheat from the chaff.

So stay wheaty friends…



There, somebody had to say it.

Yes, shirtless horse-back riding, assault rifle totin’, former KGB Intelligence Officer, Vladimir “Pootie-Poot” Putin.

Side Note: Pootie-Poot is the only vaguely clever thing that ever came out of George Dubya Bush’s mouth, if the rumour that he invented it is true.

US Vice President Joe Biden once claimed that he came face to face with Vladimir Putin during a visit to Moscow in 2011 and told him: ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul’.

‘And he looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, “We understand one another.”’

That is the man we’re talking about here.

Apparently he is undefeated at judo.

As if you’d ever beat him at judo, no matter how fucking good you were.


“Yeah, you beat me fair and square, Pootie-Poot”.

“What did you call me?!”

Seriously, it’s as clever as beating Kim Jong Un at foosball. You just don’t do it, if you want to live on this planet anymore.

Putin is a badass. And he is virtually untouchable. And no amount of international scrutiny is going to change that.

It is no surprise that many perceive Putin is tacitly to blame for the horrific shoot-down of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

“Sure, I give pro-Russian separatists BUK missile launcher. How I know they shoot something from sky? Is like giving hand grenade to baby. I am shocked as you, that something terrible result”.

He is a thug. He is a bully. And frankly, he terrifies me.

*If I suddenly go missing, you know why.



Even if they are perfect for each other…




What have we become, that these abominations exist?

Surely no-one buys abdominal machines any more (or any other home “fitness” device)?

Or a chamois, creatively called the “ShamWow”?

They always “solve” ridiculous “problems”, that you never knew existed. Life, according to infomercials, is hard. Ridiculously hard, as the following will attest.

Does anyone buy this?

Clearly, they must, because they keep making infomercials trying to sell it.

The only problem I have, is having to replace the remote control every time I hurl it at the television when an infomercial comes on. I’m onto my 6th this week.



Maybe infomercials aren’t so bad after all…

<Gaz sees dollar signs, cornering on the Replacement Remote Control infomercial circuit>

It’s a self-fulfilling enterprise. Think about it.

Entrepreneurs gonna entrepreneurialise!



“So You Think Your Idol Voice has Talent Factor!”

Every contestant has a sob story. And this performance is their breakthrough moment. So brave. You’re singing a fucking Katy Perry cover. Get over yourself.

A mark of just how valid these “talent” shows are, in the success rate of the winners. One can name less than a handful of performers who have had commercial success since being contestants. Susan Boyle. One Direction. Kelly Clarkson.   Uhm, Clay Whatsit?
These “talent” shows are just a money making vehicle for the television channels. And Simon Cowell. Yet still he hasn’t forked out for breast reduction surgery.



This one shits me to tears.

It is barbaric. It is torturous. It has a high death rate. And it is wholly unnecessary.

The livestock are packed in like sardines. They rarely have the space to lie down, and if they do, it is in their own filth. And each voyage takes up to a month.

And the torment doesn’t stop at the other end, where many animals are slaughtered, tortured and butchered inhumanely

So why is it done? Why aren’t they killed humanely, and then boxed and chilled?

Simply because certain countries like to butcher their beasts in a certain, religiously decreed way. See Point 1 for more information.

Sadly, once the animals leave the confines of the ship, there is little to no control over what happens next. Dear reader, I will spare you the distress of providing links to these atrocities. Google them at your peril.

Sorry if this point contains no humour. There is nothing funny about this.

Stop live export. Fuck the zealots.



This is self-explanatory.